- Catherine Czerkawska
- I write well researched but readable historical and contemporary novels and some non-fiction. I live in a Scottish country cottage with my artist husband. I love gardening and I also collect the fascinating antique textiles that often find their way into my fiction. This blog is about all these things and more!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The Secret Commonwealth
Play rehearsals well under way now for The Secret Commonwealth, which will be opening the new Oran Mor 'A Play, A Pie and a Pint' lunchtime theatre season. Spent Monday and Tuesday in Glasgow - then came home and left them to get on with it for a bit. This is a single hander, so 'them' consists of the director, Jennifer Hainey (young and brilliant) and the actor Liam Brennan (a bit older, and also brilliant.) I've worked with Liam before both for stage and radio, and it is always a pleasure - he's such an intelligent, thoughtful and compelling actor with a huge breadth of experience, including a spell at the Globe, in London. There is also going to be music in the play, provided by young Gaelic singer and musician Deirdre Graham. Rehearsals are both stimulating and scary, in that all those involved ask difficult questions, and you had better be able to answer them! I always find myself stressing this to beginning writers when I'm doing workshops or courses in writing drama. Actors and directors will inevitably want to know all kinds of things about the text - and the person who has to have the answers is you. The buck stops fairly and squarely in your lap. No question, it's difficult, because quite often we do write instinctively, and find out why and how we've structured things afterwards. So sometimes, in answering these questions, you find yourself having to think on your feet - but mostly, you actually find out things about the play that were there all the time - just that you hadn't fully articulated them yet, even to yourself. If cuts are to be made, they are frequently to be found in sections that don't quite fit in. And it's during rehearsals that these sections will probably become self evident. All in all, an interesting and rewarding process - but always collaborative. If you don't like collaboration, the answer is simple. Don't write plays!